Rose-Hulman ‘Mission Driven’ on $250 Million Fundraising Campaign

Monday, October 08, 2018
Mission Driven campaign logo

Increasing the endowment for student scholarships and financial aid, the largest portion of the campaign goal ($100 million), will allow Rose-Hulman to contend for top talent from a wider range of socioeconomic and ethnic groups.

A $250 million comprehensive Mission Driven Campaign for Rose-Hulman has kicked off to solidify the institute’s position as a national leader in undergraduate science, engineering and mathematics education.

The campaign has fundraising goals in the following areas:

  • $100 million for student scholarships and financial aid;
  • $85 million for new educational approaches and technologies;
  • $50 million for new spaces to expand networking and learning; and
  • $15 million for faculty support and other collaborative academic programs.

The campaign follows an extensive academic strategic planning process that gathered insight from campus, community and national representatives to examine how Rose-Hulman can remain focused on its core mission: to provide students with the world’s best undergraduate science, engineering and mathematics education in an environment of individual attention and support.

More than $165 million was raised before the campaign’s public launch. Campaign co-chairs are Jeff A. Harrison, president and CEO of Citizens Energy Group in Indianapolis, and Thomas Dinkel, president of Terre Haute-based Sycamore Engineering. Both are Rose-Hulman alumni.

“It’s not an overstatement to say that Rose-Hulman prepares students to change the world,” President Jim Conwell said in announcing the campaign. “For 144 years, we’ve been coming together to inspire, innovate, dream, and impact. And now, we have a chance to go further.”

To remain at the forefront of STEM higher education, which has become increasingly competitive, Rose-Hulman will need to continue attracting and retaining leading-edge faculty, stay ahead of technological change, modernize facilities and equipment, and expand the hands-on experiences for students that are giving them an edge in the job market and graduate school applications, Conwell noted.

As the largest portion of the campaign goal, increasing the endowment for student scholarships and financial aid will allow Rose-Hulman to contend for top talent against other top STEM colleges and universities. These academically strong students will come from a wider range of socioeconomic and ethnic groups, according to Conwell, who added, “we need to strengthen our commitment to students in areas of affordability and accessibility.”

Other campaign initiatives will empower faculty to lead on campus and in their career fields as they leverage hands-on, experiential learning and expand opportunities for students to engage in the discovery process from their first days on campus. New spaces will be developed to encourage collaboration and immersive learning.

There is already progress in this area. A new, 13,800-square-foot building for engineering design and other collaborative projects is nearing completion, and a groundbreaking ceremony was held last week for a three-story, 60,000-square-foot academic building slated to open in 2021. Both facilities will add flexible and easily adaptable classrooms, laboratories, design studios and workspaces for academic programs and projects, as well as for competition teams. The academic building will replace existing chemistry classrooms with state-of-the-art chemistry learning laboratories.

The new structures will connect curricular and co-curricular activities for the institute, relocate and bring new equipment to existing academic areas, and ease the pressure on the busy Branam Innovation Center for competition teams and student design projects, said Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Anne Houtman, who noted that during the school year, “the BIC” operates at capacity with students working on projects.

“Our classrooms, labs and project spaces have served as incubators of learning and discovery, and if we want to continue leading the way, we must develop new spaces and transform existing environments,” Houtman said.

Steve Brady, vice president for institutional advancement, noted that the financial support the campaign has already received from alumni, friends, corporations, foundations, faculty, staff and parents is already advancing several key initiatives. Alumnus Michael Mussallem and his wife, Linda, provided the $9 million lead gift to renovate the institute’s student union, which was dedicated in May 2018. An anonymous donor has provided a $15 million lead donation for the new academic building. Additional support for that facility is among the campaign goals.

Conwell acknowledges that Rose-Hulman, founded in 1874, has a rich history as the first private engineering college west of the Allegheny Mountains and, in 1889, as the first U.S. college or university to confer a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. For two decades the institute has been ranked No. 1 among the nation’s best specialized colleges for undergraduate engineering, through a U.S. News & World Report College Guide survey of senior-level engineering faculty and deans.

“We are operating from a position of strength, but excellence is not an entitlement,” Conwell said. “In these times of rapid technological change and widespread disruption in higher education, we must be both proactive and adaptive, and this campaign will ensure we are well positioned to meet the challenges ahead.”